Friday, April 28, 2017, 6:30 – 8pm
Title: LIGO and the Beginning of Gravitational Wave Astronomy Speaker: Dr. Jess McIver
Absract: Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of spacetime produced by some of the most energetic astrophysical events in the Universe. The two Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors in the US are engineered to sense these waves, which produce tiny fluctuations in the relative distance between points in space as they pass. The LIGO detectors are a major technological achievement; the most sensitive measurement devices ever built, with sensitivity equivalent to measuring a change in distance between Earth and the closest star to our sun as small as the thickness of a human hair.
On September 14, 2015, LIGO made history with the detection of gravitational waves from the collision of two black holes. This discovery was the first direct detection of gravitational waves, the first observation of a binary black hole merger, and marked the beginning of the field of gravitational wave astronomy. Observed gravitational wave signals have revealed a population of black holes in the Universe with mass and spin properties never before measured.
This talk will give an overview of astrophysical sources the LIGO detectors are sensitive to, including core-collapse supernovae and orbiting pairs of black holes and dense neutron stars, as well as the instrumentation of the LIGO detectors. It will also cover the gravitational wave signals observed during Advanced LIGO’s first observing run, the global network of gravitational wave detectors, and prospects and challenges for the future of the field. Campus Location
: Geology, Mathematics, and Computer Science Room
: 333 Event Type
: Lectures/Seminars Contact Name
: Suzanne Sorger Contact Email
: firstname.lastname@example.org Contact Phone